Friday, August 31, 2007

A Little Poetry for You: Dove

Happy Poetry Friday, and happy end of August!

(It hardly seems possible that 2/3 of the year is done.)

The roundup this week is over at Mentor Texts.

My new poet this week is Rita Dove, one of the contemporary poets featured over at

Weathering Out
by Rita Dove

She liked mornings the best—Thomas gone
to look for work, her coffee flushed with milk,

outside autumn trees blowsy and dripping.
Past the seventh month she couldn’t see her feet

so she floated from room to room, houseshoes flapping,
navigating corners in wonder. When she leaned

against a doorjamb to yawn, she disappeared entirely.

Go here to read the rest of this poem.

Go here to listen to the poet reading this poem.

Go here for a brief bio of the poet.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Maybe She Was Just Really Really Nervous

Do you have a theory about why only 1/5 of Americans can find the U.S. on a map?

Miss Teen South Carolina does.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

John Irving, Obviously....

Who's better?

Dr. Seuss or Jane Austen?

Stephen King or Edgar Allen Poe?

Check out The Great Wednesday Compare, a new(ish) series of posts over at The Book Mine Set. You'll get to cast your vote each week, and see how your favorite authors fare.

John Irving is one of the contenders this week. Vote early. Vote often. Voting closes Tuesday night.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Little Poetry for You: Dugan

Happy Poetry Friday!

The round-up is done pretty creatively over at The Book Mine Set.

I've posted a Dugan poem in the past (Love Song: I and Thou) but this one is new to me.

On Looking for Models
by Alan Dugan

The trees in time
have something else to do
besides their treeing. What is it.
I'm a starving to death
man myself, and thirsty, thirsty
by their fountains but I cannot drink
their mud and sunlight to be whole.

Go here to read and listen to the rest of the poem.

Go here for a short bio of Alan Dugan.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Little Poetry for You: Giovanni

Happy Poetry Friday!

I ran across this tonight, and thought all the librarians out there might like it.

My First Memory (of Librarians)
by Nikki Giovanni

This is my first memory:
A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky
...............wood floor
A line of green shades—bankers’ lights—down the center
Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply
..............too short
............................For me to sit in and read
So my first book was always big
Go here for the rest of this poem.

Go here for a bio of Nikki Giovanni.

And GO HERE for an interview with Nikki Giovanni talking about poetry and books and life. I liked this in particular: "There's no life in safety.... It prevents you from greeting the world with open arms." I also really enjoyed how she ended with a bit about making poetry accessible. Worth a listen!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Stephen King Weighs In on Harry Potter

"Jo Rowling's kids grew up...and the audience grew up with them."

My buddy Fran sent me this link today:

Stephen King on Harry Potter

I particularly like this quote from King, explaining how the Harry Potter series was much more than books for children:

The clearest sign of how adult the books had become by the conclusion arrives — and splendidly — in Deathly Hallows, when Mrs. Weasley sees the odious Bellatrix Lestrange trying to finish off Ginny with a Killing Curse. ''NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!'' she cries. It's the most shocking bitch in recent fiction; since there's virtually no cursing (of the linguistic kind, anyway) in the Potter books, this one hits home with almost fatal force. It is totally correct in its context — perfect, really — but it is also a quintessentially adult response to a child's peril.

Be sure to read all three pages!

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Little Poetry for You: Rogers

Happy Poetry Friday!

There's been so much talk about weird weather lately, I went hunting for a poem about wind and rain. Here is what I found.
In General
by Pattiann Rogers

This is about no rain in particular,
just any rain, rain sounding on the roof,
any roof, slate or wood, tin or clay
or thatch, any rain among any trees,
rain in soft, soundless accumulation,
gathering rather than falling on the fir
of juniper and cedar, on a lace-community
of cobwebs, rain clicking off the rigid
leaves of oaks or magnolias, any kind
of rain, cold and smelling of ice or rising
again as steam off hot pavements
or stilling dust on country roads in August.
This is about rain as rain possessing
only the attributes of any rain in general.

And this is about night, any night
coming in its same immeasurably gradual
way, fulfilling expectations in its old
manner, creating heavens for lovers
and thieves, taking into itself the scarlet
of the scarlet sumac, the blue of the blue

Go here to read the rest of the poem.

Go here for a bio of the poet.

And for something completely different, why not check out Sara Lewis Holmes' 39 Reasons to Write, which was an answer to the meme I posted for my birthday.

Friday, August 03, 2007

A Little Poetry for You: Simic

Happy Poetry Friday!

He was just named Poet Laureate of the United States. He was just awarded the Wallace Stevens award.

And I never heard of him until today.
Pigeons at Dawn
by Charles Simic

Extraordinary efforts are being made
To hide things from us, my friend.
Some stay up into the wee hours
To search their souls.
Others undress each other in darkened rooms.

The creaky old elevator
Took us down to the icy cellar first
To show us a mop and a bucket
Before it deigned to ascend again
With a sigh of exasperation.

Go here for the rest of the poem.

For more fun, go here for the audio of another of his poems.

And finally, fresh off the presses: The Academy of American Poets will feature Mr. Simic in a free public reading in New York City's Bryant Park on August 21. He will also participate in the Academy's inaugural Poets Forum in October. For more information, please visit

Thursday, August 02, 2007

39 Reasons Meme

So it's my 39th Birthday, and to celebrate, I'm starting a meme: 39 reasons to be happy today. I'm going to tag Miss Erin, Robin Brande, and the 7-Imp ladies.

Here are my 39 reasons to be happy today.

1. Healthy family
2. 5 birthday cakes
3. Fitting into smaller size clothes
4. Surprise parties
5. Maine
6. More Maine
7. Friends who make me laugh
8. Surprise phone calls from old friends
9. Fresh paint
10. Blueberries are in season
11. New babies in the neighborhood
12. Hearing a great song I'd forgotten all about
13. Kids who can cross their eyes and lick their own noses
14. Puzzles
15. Books and more books
16. Neighbors who look out for me
17. Friends who keep me honest
18. Nieces and nephews growing up into amazing adults
19. Starting my 40th year well
20. Looking forward to the achievement of turning 40
21. My first pedicure
22. Spa indulgences
23. Sharing Harry Potter with my mom
24. Wonderful coworkers who have fun
25. Opportunities to be smart
26. Opportunities to let others be smart for me
27. Blogging and reading blogs
28. Getting letters and packages
29. Coffee ice cream with chocolate
30. Freshly laundered sheets and towels
31. Hot scented baths
32. Making decisions
33. Air conditioning
34. Sofa breaks
35. Backyard gardens
36. Writing poetry out of the blue
37. Sudden memories of long-past events
38. Old old friends
39. Silly string, silly putty and bubbles